Tea Tree Oil For Hair – Is It Good?
The growing popularity of essential oils (tea tree oil for hair) speaks volumes about our concern regarding the use of man-made chemicals, prescription drugs, and medical procedures. People are turning away from such these expensive and potentially harmful treatments and leaning toward natural remedies such as essential oils with impressive results.
People experiencing thinning hair or baldness may have already tried any number of products already on the market.
Table of Contents
- Why is a Healthy Scalp Important for Hair Growth?
- Scalp Treatments for Hair Restoration
- What is Tea Tree Oil?
- Is Tea Tree Oil Good for Hair?
- How Can Tea Tree Oil Treat Problems with Hair Loss?
- The Science Behind the Oil
- Are There Side Effects with Tea Tree Oil?
- How to Use Tea Tree Oil
The growing popularity of essential oils speaks volumes about our concern regarding the use of man-made chemicals, prescription drugs, and medical procedures. People are turning away from such these expensive and potentially harmful treatments and leaning toward natural remedies such as essential oils with impressive results.
People experiencing thinning hair or baldness may have already tried any number of products already on the market that promise to regrow hair, but many are finding that a simple essential oil known as Tea Tree Oil actually works to help stimulate hair growth.
The use of Tea Tree Oil for healthy hair is actually not a new concept. It has been used for many years as an ingredient in many higher-end shampoos and other hair care products for the effective treatment of dandruff as well as more severe problems of the scalp such as seborrheic psoriasis. It is only recently that Tea Tree Oil has been heralded as an impressive treatment for hair loss.
Why is a Healthy Scalp Important for Hair Growth?
Just as a good soil base is needed to grow a healthy garden, hair follicles grow better on a healthy scalp. While dead skin cells, oils, residue from hair products and other impurities can clog hair follicles and prevent growth, it is possible to treat the scalp and thus help to foster a healthier foundation for new hair growth as well as regrowth.
The key component of hair is keratin. Keratin is a fibrous protein that is found in other structures of the body such as nails and skin. It is also a key ingredient in animals’ hooves and horns. Its fibrous composition tends to make it quite strong and also serves to protect the body’s internal organs.
In addition to keratin, hair consists of follicles. The follicles are the life of the hair. Without healthy follicles, one cannot have healthy hair.
Each strand of hair is attached to the scalp by means of a papilla. The papilla serves to keep the hair follicle alive and nourished by supplying nutrients from the red blood cells within the scalp to which it is attached. The papilla is the source of hair cells. The follicles serve as the roadways for the cells to travel and harden to form hair.
If the ability of the scalp to nourish a healthy head of hair is compromised, hair loss can result. This can be true even if the internal conditions are ideal for growing healthy hair follicles. Fortunately, there are measures that can be taken to help restore the scalp to a healthier condition. A healthier scalp will produce healthier hair and in order for new hair growth to thrive and be sustainable, it must be healthy. Otherwise, new hair that is not supported by healthy follicles can break off and hinder growth or stop it altogether.
Scalp Treatments for Hair Restoration
An oily scalp can hinder healthy hair growth due to the excessive proliferation of oils and sebum, a substance produced by the skin’s sebaceous glands. Intended to naturally keep the skin properly moisturized, sebum can wreak havoc when the body produces too much of it. In addition to causing the unsightly effects of acne, too much sebum can clog the pores of the scalp, making it difficult for the scalp to nourish the papilla to make new hair.
The over-production of sebum can be caused by a number of factors including hormone imbalances, insufficient attention to hygiene, and genetic tendencies. An overly oily scalp can also provide an attractive breeding ground for fungi that can also inhibit hair growth.
Adding a few drops of tea tree oil to one’s hair care products can help to alleviate oily scalp and remove the dead skin cells and old sebum that may be clogging the pores of the scalp.
Dry scalp can be just as detrimental to the healthy growth of hair as an oily scalp. Dry skin cells become easily dislodged from the scalp and can cause unsightly dandruff and also clog the pores of the scalp
To help resolve dry scalp, it is a good idea to take a close look at the hair care products being used. Shampoos and conditioners that contain sulfates can dry out the scalp and strip the lipids that naturally nourish the hair.
Scalp massage can provide additional benefits regardless of whether the scalp is oily or dry. It can help to improve the circulation of the scalp’s blood supply, and more evenly distribute the naturally-occurring oils.
It should be noted, however, that it is never a good idea to scrub or massage the scalp too vigorously. Doing so can cause irritation and breakage of the hair follicles, increasing the risk of additional hair loss
What Is Tea Tree Oil?
Tea Tree Oil is a substance that falls into the category of essential oils and is derived from Melaleuca Alternifolia, a shrub originating in Australia. Its chemical composition includes terpinen-4-ol, cineole, eucalyptol, nerolidol, and viridiflorol. Terpinen-4-ol is considered to be the primary ingredient and has been known to have antiseptic and antifungal properties
Is Tea Tree Oil Good for Hair?
When asking is Tea Tree Oil good for hair, the answer is a resounding yes. By keeping the pores and hair follicles of the scalp clean and unclogged, Tea Tree Oil can help foster hair growth with lustrous results. Persons with oily hair can also benefit from the use of Tea Tree Oil. Since the excessive production of oil in the scalp glands can cause clogged follicles and unsightly oily hair, using Tea Tree Oil can help to restore the healthy balance of oils in the scalp for hair that is healthier in texture and appearance
How Can Tea Tree Oil Treat Problems with Hair Loss?
The antibacterial and antifungal properties of Tea Tree Oil are paramount in cleansing the scalp and removing impurities. This helps to foster a healthy scalp which is an important foundation for the growth of healthy hair.
The moisturizing effects of Tea Tree Oil can help to nurture and moisturize scalps that are dry, irritated and itchy as well. An added plus is that it helps to prevent the buildup of dead skin cells and residue from hair care products. These impurities can clog pores and prevent the healthy proliferation of hair follicles. By unclogging these hair follicles, they are more likely to grow.
Some have suggested that Tea Tree Oil contains anti-androgenic properties that can help to offset the androgenic effects of male pattern baldness. While no scientific evidence has been presented to support these claims, the concept is definitely interesting to consider
The Science Behind the Oil
While science may not officially support the existence of anti-androgenic properties within Tea Tree Oil, there is plenty of factual evidence to support other benefits of this remarkable essential oil in the quest for regrowth of healthy hair.
For example, scientific studies overwhelmingly confirm that Tea Tree Oil contains powerful antimicrobial properties. In fact, more than 300 separate studies have been conducted within the scientific community that confirm its effectiveness against a wide variety of microbes.
There is also compelling evidence that this amazing essential oil contains antifungal compounds that effectively kill fungal infections that can cause hair loss and inhibit hair regrowth. These fungal infections include ringworm and various yeast infections.
As to the aforementioned anti-androgenic properties that may exist in Tea Tree Oil, two studies are frequently cited as supporting documentation for these claims for tea tree oil hair health. One study, the results of which was published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2007 revealed that the topical application of Tea Tree Oil in combination with Lavender Oil significantly suppressed the activity of four specific genes that were normally activated by the main circulating androgen known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
The second scientific study which was published in 2013 in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation also cited the successful effects of Tea Tree Oil in combination with Lavender Oil as effectively treating idiopathic hirsutism, a condition largely attributed to hormonal imbalances. With Tea Tree Oil hair growth volume is believed to be better controlled
Are There Side Effects With Tea Tree Oil?
While Tea Tree Oil is a natural substance extracted from natural sources, it contains powerful properties that could be harmful if used incorrectly. Therefore, it is important to be knowledgeable as to how to properly use this essential oil and the precautions that should be taken in order to ensure optimal benefits with safety.
Never swallow Tea Tree Oil as it can be extremely toxic when ingested internally. Do not apply anywhere near the eyes, ears, and mouth. Tea Tree Oil should be mixed with a carrier such as coconut oil or olive oil at a ratio not to exceed 1:1 when applied topically to the skin. When applied in excessive amounts, Tea Tree Oil can cause irritation to the scalp. Before using Tea Tree Oil for the first time, it is a good idea to apply to a small area of skin as a test to make certain no allergies to the substance are present.
How To Use Tea Tree Oil
There are three basic ways to use Tea Tree Oil for hair to treat the scalp and promote the growth of healthy hair.
One way to administer the oil is by massage. To do this, a few drops are thoroughly massaged into the scalp. It is suggested that this should be done once or twice weekly.
Another method, known as warm oil treatment, is effective and can be safely administered three to four times monthly. Using this method, a preparation is made combining Tea Tree Oil with a carrier oil in a ratio of no more than 1:1. The preparation is warmed and then rubbed thoroughly into the scalp. The head is then wrapped in a warm towel and allowed to set for 20 minutes, then gently rinsed with warm water.
Finally, there are several shampoos and conditioners on the market that contain Tea Tree Oil. However, it should be noted that these products can be expensive, and a cheaper alternative is possible with the same results. Simply add a couple of drops of the oil to any brand of shampoo or conditioner, apply to the hair and scalp, allow to remain for a couple of minutes and then rinse completely. Alternatively, a scalp tonic can be created using tea tree oil and other ingredients conducive to a healthy scalp which in turn will mitigate thinning hair overall.
It should be noted that all of the methods outlined above can produce a tingling sensation on the scalp. This is perfectly normal and is to be expected. When treated with Tea Tree Oil, hair is often softer and healthier to the touch.
While Tea Tree Oil has been shown to be an effective treatment for hair loss due to conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp, it can also be effective against hair loss caused by inherited pattern baldness and hair loss that results from autoimmune diseases and/or related treatments for these diseases. By adding it to other hair care products or hair tonics, it can help to condition the scalp to allow the products to work better.
Summing It All Up
When used as recommended, Tea Tree Oil for hair can help to restore a scalp plagued with dry, dead skin cells to a healthy scalp that provides a good basis for healthy hair growth.
Ascertaining the source of the problem and identifying the reason behind excessive hair loss or balding is not always an easy task, but Tea Tree Oil can often be used in various ways to treat the scalp and foster the growth of new, healthy hair. An added bonus is that it can be used safely in conjunction with other hair and scalp care products.